Seminar on Money Politics in Southeast Asia: Patronage, Clientelism, and Electoral Dynamics on Dec. 8

You are cordially invited to a special seminar on Money Politics in Southeast Asia: Patronage, Clientelism, and Electoral Dynamics with Prof. Meredith Weiss, Prof. Edward Aspinall, Prof. Allen Hicken, and Prof. Paul Hutchcroft. The details are as follows.

Date: December 8th (Fri.) 16:00 – 18:00, 2017

Venue: Tonan Tei (Room 201) Inamori Foundation Memorial Building,
Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University

Moderator: Prof. Hau Caroline, CSEAS, Kyoto University

poster PDF

Throughout Southeast Asia, in a range of phenomena sometimes collectively labelled “money politics,” candidates for elected office distribute patronage―particularistic benefits, including cash, goods, appointments, or other rewards―via clientelist networks. Sometimes illegal or illicit, other times above-ground and at least tacitly condoned, such practices span the electoral cycle and deeply inflect the quality and character of governance structures, democracy, and national integration. This seminar will introduce a cross-national, multi-method, multi-year study on money politics in Southeast Asia, tracing the flows and implications of patronage for electoral gain in four middle-income, developing democracies: Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand.

Surprisingly few cross-country studies have compared the forms, determinants, actors and outcomes of money politics, particularly in Southeast Asia. Our investigation situates patronage and clientelism in the nexus of politicians, parties, brokers, and voters. Through richly textured analysis of our cases, including careful attention to both cross-national and sub-national differences, we interrogate causes and motivations found across three overarching and overlapping categories: institutional, structural, and normative. Within these broad categories, we seek to capture the effects of such factors as inter- and intra-state variations in state administrative capacity, territorial structures, party and party system institutionalization, electoral systems, economic development, distribution of coercive resources, norms of reciprocity and hierarchy, and religious dictates. We hypothesize that the nature and extent of clientelism and patronage have specific, significant effects on the quality and character of governance; democratic representation and accountability; and political stability as well as national and social integration.

About speakers:
Edward Aspinall is a specialist in the politics of Indonesia, based at the Department of Political and Social Change, Coral Bell School of Asia-Pacific Affairs, Australian National University. He has authored two books, Opposing Suharto: Compromise, Resistance and Regime Change in Indonesia (2005) and Islam and Nation: Separatist Rebellion in Aceh, Indonesia (2009) and has co-edited a further ten, most recently Electoral Dynamics in Indonesia: Money Politics, Patronage and Clientelism at the Grassroots (2016) and The Yudhoyono Presidency: Indonesia’s Decade of Stability and Stagnation (2015). He is finalizing a co-authored book with Ward Berenschot (KITLV, Leiden) on electoral clientelism in Indonesia.

Allen Hicken is the Ronald and Eileen Weiser Professor of Emerging Democracies and Director of the Ronald and Eileen Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies at the University of Michigan. He studies political parties, institutions, political economy, and policy making in developing countries, with a focus on Southeast Asia. He has carried out research in Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Timor Leste and Cambodia and is the author of a book on parties and elections in Thailand and the Philippines, entitled, Building Party Systems in Developing Democracies, by Cambridge University Press. He is the editor of Politics of Modern Southeast Asia: Critical Issues in Modern Politics, (Routledge) and coeditor of Party and Party System Institutionalization in Asia (Cambridge).

Paul Hutchcroft is a scholar of comparative and Southeast Asian politics who has written extensively on Philippine politics and political economy. He has recently reassumed his post as Professor of Political and Social Change at the Australian National University after serving for four years (2013-2017) as Lead Governance Specialist with the Australian aid program in the Philippines. Hutchcroft joined the ANU in 2008, and from 2009 to 2013 served as founding Director of the School of International, Political and Strategic Studies (since renamed the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs) in the ANU’s College of Asia and the Pacific. He is the author of Booty Capitalism: The Politics of Banking in the Philippines (1998) and the editor of Mindanao: The Long Journey to Peace and Prosperity (2016), and has published in Governance, Government and Opposition, Journal of Asian Studies, Journal of Democracy, Journal of East Asian Studies, Philippine Review of Economics, Political Studies, TRaNS, and World Politics.

Meredith Weiss is Professor of Political Science at the University at Albany, State University of New York and a visiting research fellow at CSEAS. She has published widely on political mobilization and contention, the politics of identity and development, and electoral politics in Southeast Asia. Her books include Student Activism in Malaysia: Crucible, Mirror, Sideshow (2011) and Protest and Possibilities: Civil Society and Coalitions for Political Change in Malaysia (2006), as well as a number of edited volumes, most recently, Political Participation in Asia: Defining and Deploying Political Space (with Eva Hansson, 2017).